Grounds For Divorce

Full Video Transcript

We've all heard about "fault" and "no-fault" divorce. While it's true that many state laws provide for a variety of fault-based grounds for divorce, such as adultery, cruelty, or abandonment, almost all states also offer some sort of no-fault divorce. The language varies somewhat for different states, but the typical no-fault ground for divorce is either that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage or that the spouses have irreconcilable differences. In a no-fault case, one spouse need only allege that the marriage is irretrievably broken and need not prove any sort of fault against the other. This also means that the other spouse can't stop the divorce even if they don't want it. Whereas in fault-based divorces, if the other spouse objects to the divorce and the petitioning spouse can't prove fault against the other spouse, the divorce might not be granted. One of the major reasons for adopting no-fault divorce grounds in state laws was to empower either spouse to leave the marriage if desired and to make the divorce process a little easier.

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